2100: A Dystopian Utopia – The City After Climate Change
Fast forward to the year 2100. New York, along with Phoenix, Beijing, Sao Paulo, Manila, and many more of the world’s most populated cities, is irrevocably changed. Much of the earth’s great middle swath is subject to droughts, wildfires, and desertification, while increasingly frequent super storms plague coastal areas, destroying precious agricultural lands by bringing seawater far inland. Where in the world shall we live, and what will our built environments be like? The study envisions design solutions for a planet that will be more densely populated, subject to an array of environmental challenges, and significantly warmer, by an average of 4°C.
In the 2100 world the book envisions, most of the earth’s population has moved poleward, now inhabiting compact megacities. Some, like Troll Antarctica, are new, while others like Moscow, Vancouver and Johannesburg have been redesigned and retrofitted as hyper dense settlements. These megacities are paired with the now largely uninhabitable extraction cities of the middle swath that now house smaller scale populations of temporary inhabitants. To accommodate the needs of a world population of 10 billion, the new compact megacities feature technologies such as clip-on architecture and high tech vertical farms while the old, extraction cities have become outposts that are being recycled and used for manifold purposes including renewable energy generation, carbon capture and sequestration.
How can we change our way of life to be more in keeping with natural systems and processes? Climate change unquestionably represents the biggest challenge to the continued presence of humankind on this planet, not to mention the many other species currently at risk. Managing and attempting to limit the effects of global warming should be our biggest priority, marshalling our collective will, energies, and creativity toward the achievement of a common goal. Although the work is speculative, its premises are supported by the latest climate research and predictions, while the design solutions proposed build upon existing and emerging technologies. The future the book envisions is dystopian but the work is utopian, in that it sees the best in human potential rising to the occasion. 2100 serves not as a prediction, but rather as a warning and a call to action. It offers architecture’s response to climate change’s most challenging scenarios with design solutions that suggest the profound adaptability of the design field to meet environmental challenges in the future. Through 2100: A Dystopian Utopia, Vanessa Keith and StudioTEKA visualize possible design solutions to suggest the profound adaptability and possibilities of the design field to meet environmental challenges in the future. The issue is framed by noted sociologist, Saskia Sassen, with her preface and advocacy of “delegating back to the environment”.
Book is available as UR3 of Terreform’s Urban Research series: https://www.urpub.org/books/2100
Interviews, Lectures and Podcasts on 2100:
Landscape Architecture Magazine Interview: https://landscapearchitecturemagazine.org/2017/05/11/thrive-or-survive/
Metropolis Magazine Interview: https://www.metropolismag.com/architecture/2100-dystopian-utopia-book-studioteka/
Modelo Blog Interview: https://medium.com/design-manifestos/design-manifestos-vanessa-keith-of-studioteka-3960a94fc1e0
Alan H. Ryder Distinguished Lecture, Carnegie Mellon: https://vimeo.com/276498726
Peter B. Collins Podcast: https://www.peterbcollins.com/2019/03/07/in-depth-interview-vanessa-keith-offers-blueprints-for-2100-life-on-earth-will-be-very-different/
WFPL Interview with Bill Burton: https://wfpl.org/dealing-with-climate-change-as-an-architect/
Studioteka Project Team:
Vanessa Keith,Joana Barros, Natalie Bellefleur, Silvia Cadelano, Lisa Cepisul, Eileen Chen, Pablo Dominguez, Michelle Fowler, Zakiya Franklin, Matthew Fung, Taylor Harper, Cheolyong Kim, Katelin Kutchko, Michelle Lavin, Sangyun Lee, Yoon Kyun Lee, Soo Youn Lim, Chenyang Lu, Umberto Plaja, Romel Ragasa, Simona Regolo, Qi Shen, Phillip Song, Charikleia Soupalika, Stefan Stanojevic, Rob Stupay, Youyi Wang, Alex Wilson, Wen Wu, Wenxin Yang, Li Xia and Luxia Yin